BIA Pro Bono Project

The BIA Pro Bono Project matches vulnerable immigrants with pro bono counsel to defend their cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals, or BIA. One of the nation's most successful pro bono initiatives, the BIA Pro Bono Project partners with attorneys and law school clinics to provide pro bono legal representation to indigent immigrants. Through a network of committed volunteers, trainers and mentors, the BIA Pro Bono Project facilitates access to justice, a critical component to safeguarding the rights of vulnerable asylum seekers and long-time lawful permanent residents.

Since its inception in 2001, the BIA Pro Bono Project has reviewed over 7,200 appeals cases. The Project's cases regularly result in significant decisions, including favorable, published BIA decisions, as well as Federal and Supreme Court decisions. In a published study, the Department of Justice found that immigrants who had been provided representation through the BIA Pro Bono Project were up to four times more likely to win a favorable decision before the BIA.

Latest News

BIA Pro Bono Project Victories - 2/5/2021

THANK YOU to our volunteers and congratulations on these recent successes for our BIA Pro Bono Project clients:

  • Professor Kari Hong of Boston College Law School for winning a published decision at the Tenth Circuit criticizing the BIA for erroneously finding that a Ghanaian asylum seeker could safely relocate internally. You can read the decision here.
  • Professor Thomas Burch of the University of Georgia School of Law for winning a petition for review at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for a Mexican woman who was tortured by cartels
  • Karli Cozen and Anthony Vale of Troutman Pepper for successfully defending CAT protection for a Honduran woman who was the victim of sex trafficking
  • Roque Thuo of Perkins Coie for successfully defending a Cuban asylum seeker before the BIA
  • Yariv Pierce of Quinn Emmanuel for winning a stay of removal and release from detention for a Haitian asylum seeker
  • Aaron Webman and Astrid Ackerman of Kramer Levin, and Kristen Amond of Mills & Amond for winning asylum for a man from Cuba
  • Michael Ward of Alston & Bird for winning a petition for review at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for a Honduran man fleeing gang violence
  • Tre Holloway of Perkins Coie for winning asylum for his Cuban client
  • Matthew Paul Nickson for obtaining a remand from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals for the Board to reconsider whether his client would face persecution in Nicaragua
  • Shaud Tavakoli, Dimitris Papaconstantinou, Alena Perszyk, Alejandro Bascoy and Marcos Melecio-Zambrano of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP for successfully defending a Cuban asylum seeker before the BIA
BIA Pro Bono Project Victory - 10/21/2020

Congratulations to BIA Pro Bono Project volunteer attorney Anthony Moreno from Gibson Dunn for your recent victory on behalf of a Cameroonian asylum seeker! The BIA found that the IJ failed to consider all the evidence of past persecution or do a complete legal analysis in the case. The client will get a new opportunity to show that he qualifies for asylum. Thank you, Attorney Moreno, for your excellent litigation in this case!

BIA Pro Bono Project Summer Victories - 8/19/2020

CLINIC’s BIA Pro Bono Project won tremendous victories this summer at the Board of Immigration Appeals and in the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal. We are thankful for all our dedicated volunteers who continue to fight for vulnerable noncitizens. Click here to read more.

Long-Term BIA Pro Bono Project Case Ends With Victory - 7/24/2020

CLINIC’s BIA Pro Bono Appeals Project launched in 2001. In its 19+ years of operation, the Project has reviewed more than 7,200 cases, pairing attorneys and law school clinics with vulnerable asylum seekers and long-time lawful permanent residents. Click here to read this story.

Get Involved

The BIA Pro Bono Project provides a unique opportunity for attorneys and fully accredited representatives to fight for indigent immigrants who are detained in remote ICE jails across the country, without ever leaving the office. Project volunteers will receive the full case file, including transcripts from the immigration court hearings, and then have 3-6 weeks to write an appellate brief to the BIA. Volunteers will receive mentorship from CLINIC staff and have access to sample briefs and other resources.

If you are an attorney or fully accredited representative and would like to volunteer with the BIA Pro Bono Project, please fill out our volunteer form.

For more information, contact CLINIC staff attorney Rachel Naggar at rnaggar@cliniclegal.org.